Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 27 October 2010) . . Page.. 5127 ..
reading that we cannot let this plan fail shows again the propensity of the Greens to sign up to something sight unseen. They signed up to the proposal to sell Calvary hospital. They sign up to government initiatives sight unseen without thinking through the implications. Here again we had the Greens saying the same thing. It was out of the national Greens playbook. It was almost the same language as was being used by Senator Hanson-Young at the same time. When the leader of the Greens said, “This plan cannot be allowed to fail,” he was saying, “Just do it.” It is the Nike excuse: “Just do it.”
My motion on the other hand calls on the government and ultimately the Assembly to be of one voice when it comes to defending the ACT’s rights to water in this matter. My motion calls on the government to engage the community fully in this process. My motion calls on the government to seek independent expert advice, particularly on the impact the basin plan will have on the net economic benefit of our water security infrastructure. My motion calls on the government to engage the Assembly in this process.
In short, my motion calls on the government to take a vigorous, assertive and comprehensive approach to putting together a submission to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority in response to this proposed plan. And my motion calls for tripartisan support for that approach. I cannot overstate the importance of this work and I cannot overstate the importance of engaging the community in this process.
This is an issue that goes to the heart of every Canberra household and I was not comforted by the words of the attorney last week when he was specifically asked about how he would engage the community in this. He basically said that he would not. He said that there would be submissions made and that would be it.
As I have said before, I do not think we can overstate the importance of this issue to the community and I cannot overstate the seriousness of what we and the community are facing. This is something that cannot be dealt with in a couple of meetings or a letter or two. It should not be dealt with behind closed doors with a wink and a nod. Whatever we put forward must be well founded, well argued and incontestable. Importantly, it must have in mind the economic, environmental and social future of the ACT and how it fits into the basin. But first and foremost, it should be about the future of the ACT.
I therefore commend to the Assembly my motion in relation to this matter. I understand that there is a proposal for a large range of amendments to this and there seems to be a willingness by all members here to have a fruitful discussion on this matter. I understand that it is the intention to adjourn this matter until a later hour today so that we can have some commonality of purpose in relation to amendments.
Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell) adjourned to a later hour.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (11.45): I move:
That this Assembly: